Edward Enninful broke into the fashion industry as a model when stylist Simon Foxton scouted him on a London train at age 16. Shortly after he was shot by Nick Knight, the founder of ShowStudios. Now he’s collaborating with Knight and Beats on a film that celebrates his 25 years as a stylist and fashion editor.
“I really didn’t want anything that was looking back at my career. I wanted to do something that was very now and very forward-looking. Nick is a longtime collaborator and mentor to me, and he’s the best of the best when it comes to combining photography, film and sound in a way that is so relevant today and looks toward the future.”
“The Seven Deadly Sins of Edward Enninful” features 8 models – Kate Moss (lust), Naomi Campbell (pride), Karlie Kloss (greed), Lara Stone and Anna Ewers (gluttony), Maria Carla Boscono (sloth), Karen Elson (wrath) and Jourdan Dunn (envy) – in seven colors to the backdrop of seven different songs. Screened on Jan. 29 on the Beats by Dre billboard in Times Square at 1535 Broadway, the film will premiere globally on showstudio.com on Feb. 13. Beats by Dre will also produce a limited-edition line of headphones that will be available by invitation only to accompany the film.
“That was the toughest part,” said Enninful, when asked how he decided which models to use for the project. “In the end I just had to sit with Nick and decide who is the model that best epitomizes each sin.”
Enninful has also said that the film is also an ode to designers he’s admired throughout his career. The models wear new, archival and custom pieces from brands including Alexander McQueen, Céline, Prada, Maison Margiela Couture by John Galliano, Givenchy and Vetements.
Over the past few years Enninful, who started out as a fashion editor at i-D magazine, has accepted various awards. Last year he took home a Clio award for excellence in commercial styling and the year before he was honored at the British Fashion Awards. But Enninful is hesitant to detail why he’s been so popular.
“I think that’s for other people to say, I just believe in doing what I feel on the inside. I don’t follow trends. I don’t use this girl because she’s trendy. I just go with my feeling and my instinct and it’s served me quite well.”
Ghanaian-born stylist Edward Enninful was appointed fashion director of British youth culture magazine i-D at age 18, the youngest ever to have been named an editor at a major international fashion title. After moving to London with his parents and six siblings at a young age, Enninful was scouted as a model on the train at 16 and briefly modeled for Arena and i-D magazines before assisting stylists Simon Foxton and Beth Summers on fashion shoots. During this period, he was introduced to i-D’s founder, Terry Jones, who named him fashion editor after Summers left.
Inspired by London’s club scene in the 1980s, Enninful’s work during this period captured the frenetic energy and creative zeitgeist of the time. It was also during this time that he befriended many of his future fashion collaborators, including David Sims , Pat McGrath , Craig McDean , Mario Sorrenti , Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell . His fashion stories, often infused with a provocative elegance and strong narrative, have also appeared in American Vogue and Vogue Italia, where he was a contributing editor. One of Enninful’s most influential works is Vogue Italia’s July 2008 ‘All Black’ issue, featuring only black models, which became the magazine’s top-selling issue.
In 2011, Enninful was tapped to take the style directorship at W magazine, a high-end Condé Nast title that had struggled in the late 2000s. He brought relevance to the magazine’s fashion editorials and put a twist on many of its cover stars’ public image, such as dressing the outré R&B artist Nicki Minaj as a French noblewoman. W’s editor, Stefano Tonchi , credited Enninful in part with the magazine’s 16 percent growth in ad page in 2012.